It was dark and very dusty in the Sailor's Den, as usual. Two sailors, Aquilonians and pirates no doubt, were sitting together on a dirty bench just off to the side of the fight pit. They were deep in conversation talking just loud enough to hear each other over the drunken cheers of sailors and other regulars watching the current brawl happening within the fight pit. They were careful to be not too loud to be overheard as they discussed what was most likely their latest haul of booty from a merchant ship they had raided. One of the sailors a scrawny man with sunkist, leathery looking skin and thin blond hair stood up quickly, he was angry about something his companion had said and seemed ready to throttle him.
Just then as the two sailors seemed to be at the peak of their argument a deep, dark shadow seem to envelop the entire den. Everyone in the place could not supress a violent shudder when a bitter cold fear wracked their bodies as they looked to the entrance at who or what caused the sudden darkness. The scrawny sailor that was now standing let out a faint gasp and sat back down quickly and turned towards his friend. "That's him...the one I spoke about the other day" he whispered to his friend making sure not to look up and make eye contact with the newcomer.
In the entrance stood the silhouette of a tall rather large man. As the door behind in the entrance hall closed and he stepped into the faint light of the den his features became more visible. He wore heavy armour made up of iron plates, chain mail and hides of various rare and exotics beasts he had no doubt slain in combat. A curved sword hung at his side and a large blood red shield was slung to his back. He was quite muscular but pale and as he removed his ornate black metal helmet a shower of white hair fell down around his face. His blue, grey eyes glinted in the dim light as he surveyed all in the den, his eyes finally resting on an empty bench in the far corner of the den. As he walked towards his destination all he passed shrank from him as a aura of dread and death followed him. He smelled of a mixture of blood, battle and sweet flowers, a scent many found revolting and contradictory.
When the newcomer reached the bench he sat down placed his helmet on the table and waited for the barmaid who reluctantly made her way over to take his drink order.
"ya that's him, I told ya" whispered the scrawny sailor to his friend. "He's been comin' in here daily fer a week now. He always sits in that there spot and orders a red wine. I am surprised this dump has any type of wine at all."
"He is so pale now and his hair has turned white like whatever dealings he has been inta have drained him of all colour.". Said the scrawny sailor more to himself than his companion.
"Ya say ya know this fella? he is followed by an evil taint is he cursed? I want ta be as far away from his as possible" asked the dark skinned friend.
"Well I don't know him now, but I knew him years ago. Though he has changed much from then and he doesn't seem ta recognize me at all. He was the son of a well known Priest of Mitra. He was a good and loyal son and friend. He was always quiet though he would speak up when something important needed ta be said. Well spoken when he did speak and always calm and took in and fully assessed any situation before acting. I could rely on him fer anything and he was always there fer me. Although he was a capable fighter as we all must be in these times he was to follow his fathers footsteps and become a priest." explained the scrawny sailor.
"so why don't ya go over and speak ta him if ya were such good friends?" asked the dark skined sailor.
"Ya felt it when he walked by! The darkness, the evil...something aweful happened ta him. I have done some investigatin' and have heard some horrible things. He doesn't even recognize me, he may just slit my throat if I go over there. He is a different man now, he used to go by the name Timothy Earl but I have heard he is known as Miidera now." replied the scrawny sailor.
"so what happened ta him, what did ya find out?" inquired the dark skinned friend.
The scrawny sailor leaned in close and took a quick glance at Miidera "a dark tale my friend, of how much I am not certain ta be true" he whispered.
"I haven't heard much but here is what I have heard. About ten years ago he went on a trip with his father ta the purple lotus swamp in Stygia. They were apparently taking the teachings of Mitra ta some locals. As their caravan was passing through the desert of Khopshef Province they were attacked by strange creatures and their carriage was set afire. Timothy and his wounded father were trapped inside as the flames closed in, they were doomed ta die a horrible burning death.
What happened inside that carriage during this time no one knows but what is known for certain is that Timothy was seen emerging from flames with his father in his arms untouched by the fire. He walk right through flames and carried his father ta saftey! One priest I spoke with said that a dark demon appeared before Timothy's father and offered to save them in exchange for eternal servitude. Timothy's father refused and despite his fathers pleading fer him not to, Timothy took the deal instead ta save his father. I suspect this ta be true.
When Timothy and his father returned ta Aquilonia and Old Taratania his father could not accept the deal that his son had made with the evil being. Timothy now had an evil taint and aura and was forced to kill and spill blood to appease his new demon master or he would return ta claim his and his fathers soul. His fathr disowned him and left Old Tarantia in shame, he would have rather died then let such evil enter inta his family...his blood. Although no one would say for sure, I had heard Timothy's father travelled ta a far off land and entered a monastary and vowed ta live his life in silent devotion to Mitra.
I personally had spoken ta Timothy when he returned from the horrible trip. He had changed so quickly though I could still sense the old Timothy within. Shortly after his father left Timothy left Aquilonia and no one that I could find knew what he has been up ta since then. I have no idea why he has returned, he seems to have lost all memory of his old life from what I can tell." The scrawny sailor stole a quick glance at Miidera, they met eyes for a moment and he turned away quickly.
Miidera took the last gulp of wine and motioned for the waitress as he turned his attention back to the fist fight going on inside the dirt pit in the middle of the den.